Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Pro-Gun Congressmen Introduce Bill to Modernize Gun Sales

Friday, May 3, 2019

Pro-Gun Congressmen Introduce Bill to Modernize Gun Sales

On Wednesday, Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) led several pro-gun members of his caucus – including Rep. Ralph Abraham (R-La.), Andy Barr (R-Ky.), Clay Higgins (R-La.), Mike Johnson (R-La.), Alex Mooney (R-W.Va.), and David Schweikert (R-Ariz.) – in introducing a bill to modernize the way firearms are sold under federal law. The Firearms Interstate Commerce Reform Act (FICRA) would update antiquated provisions of the Gun Control Act that reflect a bygone era of criminal recordkeeping and remove arbitrary impediments for law-abiding gun buyers and sellers.

Under current law, Federal Firearm Licensees (FFLs) can only operate in the state in which their business premises is located and can only sell or transfer handguns to persons who live in that state. An FFL can sell a long gun to a person who lives out of state, provided the sale occurs in a face-to-face transaction and complies with the laws of the state of sale and the state of residence of the purchaser. It used to be these non-resident long gun sales could only occur to residents of contiguous states, but that limitation was removed in 1986 by the Firearm Owners Protection Act.

Nevertheless, handgun sales continue to be subject to strict in-state only rules. This reflects now obsolete provisions of the so-called “Brady Bill” that required FFLs to transmit information about prospective buyers or transferees to the “chief law enforcement officer [CLEO] of the place of residence of the transferee.” The CLEO was then supposed to run a background check on the prospective transferee. The transfer could only occur once the CLEO notified the FFL there was no information that receipt of the handgun by the transferee would violate federal, state, or local law or until at least five business days had elapsed without notice from the CLEO that the transfer would violate the law. 
FICRA would update the law so FFLs could sell long guns or handgun to customers from out of state. It would also permit FFLs to sell firearms at gun shows outside the state where their licensed premises are located. In either case, the sale would have to occur in a face-to-face transaction and comply with the laws both of the buyer’s state of residence and the state where the sale occurred. The FFL would also have to comply with all the recordkeeping, identification, and background check requirements that apply to any other retail sale.

This scheme, in turn, reflected the mainly localized nature of criminal justice recordkeeping that pre-dated the digital revolution. Now, of course, criminal records are centralized in digital state and federal databases and are available almost instantaneously anywhere in the nation. This advance of technology led to the National Instant Criminal Background System (NICS) which replaced the five-day provisions of the Brady Act in 1998.  NICS allows for virtually immediate point-of-sale determinations about a transferee’s eligibility to receive a firearm, drawing on records from across the United States.

Since 1998, moreover, NICS has only grown more comprehensive as states have routinized their automated forwarding of records to the system and computer technology has proliferated and improved.

These same advances make it much easier, moreover, for FFLs to be able to stay abreast of the laws of other states. Numerous online databases include detailed information about state firearm laws, including those relating to the purchase of handguns.

All these developments make it unnecessary for FFLs to limit handgun sales only to residents of the state in which the FFL is licensed. Today, NICS contains records from every state in the nation, and if there’s any question about the rules and procedures of handgun sales in a given state, FFLs can quickly find accurate information from trustworthy online sources.

The relatively uncontroversial nature of interstate long gun sales also underscores that it is long past time to remove the arbitrary barriers that persist with handgun sales.

FICRA would update the law so FFLs could sell long guns or handgun to customers from out of state. It would also permit FFLs to sell firearms at gun shows outside the state where their licensed premises are located. In either case, the sale would have to occur in a face-to-face transaction and comply with the laws both of the buyer’s state of residence and the state where the sale occurred. The FFL would also have to comply with all the recordkeeping, identification, and background check requirements that apply to any other retail sale.

The bill would additionally address the unique situations of active duty military members and members of the civilian foreign service to ensure that postings away from their usual U.S. states of legal residence does not cost them their ability to lawfully exercise their Second Amendment right to acquire a firearm.

The upshot of all these changes is that federal and state laws would continue to be enforced, while gun sellers and consumers would have more freedom and flexibility to conduct their lawful activities. In a sane world, it would be considered an uncontroversial update to laws that had not kept pace with technology and modern law enforcement and a way to protect the rights of those who in service to their country sacrifice the relatively stable and predictable residence situations most others enjoy.

Unfortunately, the U.S. House of Representatives has not lately been a model of rational or practical thinking. But should Congress decide a return to sanity is in order, FICRA would be an excellent place to start.

The NRA thanks Whip Scalise and the cosponsors of FICRA for their leadership in this important effort and commends the bill for swift action by Congress. Please contact your United States Representative and ask them to support and cosponsor FICRA. Additionally, you may call your U.S. Representative using the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121.

 

TRENDING NOW
NY AG James Sends Threatening Letter to Ammunition Sellers

News  

Monday, November 21, 2022

NY AG James Sends Threatening Letter to Ammunition Sellers

In a move that surprised absolutely nobody, anti-gun New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) announced last week that she would expand her assault on the Second Amendment by targeting ammunition sellers. AG James claimed, ...

Maryland: Montgomery County Passes Carry Restrictions

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Maryland: Montgomery County Passes Carry Restrictions

Maryland’s most anti-gun county has continued its tantrum, lashing out against lawful carry in the only way it thinks it can. Yesterday, the Montgomery County Council voted unanimously to pass Bill 21-22E, to remove the exemption ...

Emboldened, Opportunistic Biden Continues to Promote Gun Bans

News  

Monday, November 21, 2022

Emboldened, Opportunistic Biden Continues to Promote Gun Bans

Whatever else can be said of Joe Biden as a politician, he has been consistent and unwavering on at least one point: he wants to take your guns. Make no mistake: Left to his own ...

Déjà vu: Biden Taps Operation Chokepoint Veteran to Again Lead FDIC

News  

Monday, November 21, 2022

Déjà vu: Biden Taps Operation Chokepoint Veteran to Again Lead FDIC

Of all the scandals of the anti-gun Obama/Biden administration, Operation Chokepoint was perhaps the most insidious. NRA-ILA covered the story at the time, explaining how federal regulators – including the Department of Justice and the ...

California DOJ Awarded Participation Trophy for Losing Bruen Brief

News  

Monday, November 21, 2022

California DOJ Awarded Participation Trophy for Losing Bruen Brief

Those of earlier generations used to chuckle when small children were presented trophies merely for participating in organized sports. When this practice began, few could have predicted that this effete custom would someday extend to ...

ATF Mass Denial of Suppressor Form 1 Applications

News  

Monday, March 7, 2022

ATF Mass Denial of Suppressor Form 1 Applications

On February 28, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”) denied approximately 850 Form 1 applications for prospective makers of suppressors. These denials were apparently made due to a change in ATF policy ...

NRA Achieves Historical Milestone as 25 States Recognize Constitutional Carry

News  

Friday, April 1, 2022

NRA Achieves Historical Milestone as 25 States Recognize Constitutional Carry

Half the country will now enjoy the freedom to carry a handgun for self-defense without a permit from the state thanks to the tireless efforts of men and women of the National Rifle Association. 

Oregon Gun Control Ballot Measure Passes, Barely; Iowans Overwhelmingly Approve RKBA Amendment

News  

Monday, November 14, 2022

Oregon Gun Control Ballot Measure Passes, Barely; Iowans Overwhelmingly Approve RKBA Amendment

Two firearm-related ballot measures – one bad, one good – were voted on in last week’s midterm elections. Both passed.

Recent ATF Action Shows Need for Suppressor Reform

News  

Monday, March 14, 2022

Recent ATF Action Shows Need for Suppressor Reform

As we reported last week, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”) denied approximately 850 Form 1 applications for prospective makers of suppressors on February 28. These denials were apparently made due to ...

CPRC: FBI Wrong – Armed Citizens Stopped at Least 34% of “Active Shooter” Attacks

News  

Monday, October 17, 2022

CPRC: FBI Wrong – Armed Citizens Stopped at Least 34% of “Active Shooter” Attacks

Recent polling indicates that an increasing number of Americans view the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) with distrust and disfavor. The results of a national survey conducted in August by Rasmussen Reports found that a majority of voters asked ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.